Best from the past: Nokia 7650

There’s something truly special about this phone. Released in 2002, it was a status symbol, a phone of dreams that only but few could afford. And back then, it was a sign of paradigm shift for phones that introduced multi-tasking and built-in camera to a relatively simple simple to use phone.

It was, after all, quite the looker. With stylish and sleek curves pervading its all-plastic body, and weird gizmos hovering around the earpiece, and, finally, the oddly shaped yet fully usable numeric keypad, the 7650 was a messenger from the future. Even the SIM card slot is located at the top of the device, and not where you’d typically expect it to be. It was a wild idea all around, so it’s no wonder this Nokia phone was showcased alongside the epic sci-fi flick, Minority Report.

Of course, much has changed since its arrival. Yet the roots of Symbian, that since have expanded across many millions of smartphones in different form factors, still remain clearly visible. The menu key and the two soft keys below the screen remain virtually unchanged in almost a decade. And what’s more, everything still works a treat. There’s a ARM 104 MHz processor tirelessly pounding inside. Browsing through the no-nonsense S60 menus using the rubber joystick feels surprisingly accurate and responsive, and you can still find some fully working versions of apps that support S60 v1, Best FileMan or Resco Photo Viewer, for example. The app memory is abysmal though – less than 4 mb – but you have to keep in mind that back then apps weren’t that heavy on the size. Still, biggest downturn for any smartphone user now would be the lack of a memory expansion slot – something Nokia quickly fixed with the following Symbian based smartphones. Luckily enough, file bluetooth transfer with my N900 works flawlessly. And did I mention the phone supports infrared connection as well?


There’s no doubt, Nokia 7650 was the sort of experiment that turned into a success story in the industry. It also proved over and over again, that there’s no wining without daring. And there’s no daring, without really trying. Food for thought…

As always, I’m adding a few camera samples here. For comparison purposes, I’ve chosen the Nokia E5, so it’s 5 Mpix fixed focus camera vs 0.3 Mpix fixed focus camera on the Nokia 7650. How much difference does 8 years really make? This time only, I’ll let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!

Nokia 7650

Nokia E5

Nokia 7650

Nokia E5